Any geology geeks out there?
After a seven-year closure, the Mitchell Caverns in Mojave National Preserve have reopened to the public. The spectacular limestone caves, which are hidden in a hillside at Providence Mountains State Recreation Area, can be accessed on an hour-long guided tour.
Stepping into the caverns is like a passage into a separate world. The contrast between the sun-baked desert and the dim recesses of the caverns is positively refreshing. You don’t have to be an expert spelunker to go inside these cathedral-like chambers, where clusters of dagger-like stalactites seem to defy gravity. With stairways and paved walkways, no rappelling or crawling is necessary.
Offered Fridays through Sundays at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. (and also on holiday Mondays), the tours, which include a 1.5-mile roundtrip hike to the cavern entrance, are open by reservation only. Be sure to also leave some time after your tour to hike the recreation area’s short trails. While you’re here to go inside the Earth, the expansive views of the desert are plenty impressive in their own right.